Dhaka- Asia Cup is Pakistan's first tournament under a new team management, with Moin Khan as coach and Zaheer Abbas as chief consultant. The regime change has coincided with a stunning return to batting form for Shahid Afridi, whose unbeaten 18-ball 34 against India and a brutal 25-ball 59 against Bangladesh were instrumental in Pakistan reaching the final.
While praising the support staff for backing him, he said that he was essentially his own coach. "It was different earlier, it's not that it was not good," Afridi said after Pakistan's practice session today. "The support team that we have now is knowledgeable and keeps us positive. As I've said earlier also, having played at this level for so many years, I don't need a coach. I am better off coaching myself. I know very well what to do. It's about having the right people to back you and support you." he added.
Pakistan peaked at the right time in the tournament and this would help Pakistan at the World T20 as well. Afridi said "Pakistan have always supported India at every step. Despite threats, Pakistan have always toured India. I think cricket can only revive India-Pakistan relations. Sport brings friendship. The way I enjoyed my cricket in India, I never enjoyed anywhere else. We are after all neighbors. The relations should be good between us."
"World Cup 2015 is going to be a huge thing for me and my team," he said. "As long as I'm fit, I'll continue playing the sport. I will sideline myself the moment I start thinking that I'm becoming a burden on my team. I will not give anyone an opportunity to talk." he concluded.